Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bringing Home Brett

We had a bit of a wait when it came time to leave the hospital on Friday night. At the 24 hour mark, the nurses took sweet little Brett to do his pku test and final check-up. We waited (and waited...and waited) for the lab to finish analyzing some of my blood so I could get one last Rhogam shot and we could be on our way. (Adam and I are compatible in so many ways, but, alas, blood type is not one of them). By the time all the i's were dotted and t's crossed, it was nearly 11:00pm. 

Here we are getting ready for the drive home. 

For his going home outfit, Brett wore a "play ball" onesie and a cute blue sleeper with a dog on it. He was less than thrilled to get strapped into the car seat. 

Nothing a binkie and a blanket couldn't fix. This blanket was given to us by our next door neighbor, Carla Callis. This is our first time having a winter baby, so we didn't think to bring a blanket to drape over the car seat to block the wind. It was a chilly, albeit short, walk from hospital lobby to car. Fortunately, Adam had pulled up close and had the heat going. We drove home in the trusty Toyota Corolla, and Brett slept all the way.

My cute parents had arranged these flowers and the cute bear on a chair in the entryway, where we would see it as we walked in. Spencer, Emma, and John were having another sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's house since we knew we wouldn't return until late, so the first night home was just Brett, Adam, and me. We arrived home at about 11:30pm and finally collapsed into bed at 12:30. 

First thing the next morning, we had to go to the pediatrician's office for a little check-up. Around lunchtime, Grandma and Grandpa brought Spencer, Emma, and John to meet Brett for the first time. It was so sweet to witness their excitement. Thanks to iPhones, we have the scene filmed from every possible angle. 

Are Adam and I really old enough to have FOUR children? 

Each sibling took a turn holding Brett. Spencer had asked days earlier if he could be the first, so we took turns and followed the birth order. 

Spencer and Brett

Emma and Brett

John and Brett
John was so sweet and soft with this new brother.

Next, it was Grandma's turn for a little bonding time.

And don't forget Grandpa!

The at-home Cummings clan came to meet Brett and welcome him as well. 
(back row: Marie, Brett, Papa, Grammy, Joel, Trina, Sarah; front row: John, crouched by my feet, Emma, Spencer)

Random note: Right after the kids met Brett, Adam and his parents took them to the Target clinic where everyone got flu shots. We should have done it weeks earlier, but after all the hype at the hospital, we decided better late than never!

Baby Brett

 January 17th, 2013 is the day Brett Cummings Wride joined our family. 

His due date was the 15th, but as was the case with all of our babies except Spencer, he was feeling pretty cozy in utero and there were no signs that he was going to make an appearance any time in the near future, so we went ahead and scheduled an induction. (Remember, John came into this world weighing a hearty 10 lbs. 2 oz. My goal was not to  break that record, so no need to go any further past the due date). The morning of the induction, we got Spencer ready for the school bus, took a quick family picture, and left Emma and John in Grandma's care.

The obligatory belly shot.

Settled in, waiting for baby. Adam loved the hat and mask he got when I got my epidural; he wore it for a few hours, feeling very official.

Most of the day passed pleasantly. We were both pretty exhausted since the night before baby is akin to the night before Christmas, which means I was too excited to sleep. I had some intense contractions, and the epidural was sometimes only effective on one side of my body. We watched some Downton Abbey on the iPad mini as a distraction and regularly checked in with the family on Path. Thank you, all, for the words of encouragement. It was great fun to feel like our extended family was cheering us on throughout the day.

The doctor started me on pitocin about 10:30am. By 6:30pm, I had made frustratingly little progress (did someone tell baby that there was a chance of snow?). Dr. Menezes decided to take me off the pitocin for an hour. I had been at level 16 (or was it 18) with the pitocin, and by the time they worked the pitocin back up to level 6 and I had thrown up a few times it was time to have a baby. Two contractions of pushing later, out came Brett.

Brett was born at 8:42pm, weighing in at an impressive 10 lbs., 1 oz. (John's record is intact, but only just barely). He was strong and fiesty from the start. Brett has impressive muscle tone in his legs. He was my most consistent, constant kicker and put on a regular kickboxing routine every night at bedtime while he was in the belly. Once born, he quickly figured out how to put his cute little hands to work, grabbing at the sleeves of the nurse who was trying to clean him up. 

Here I am holding my sweet new babe. 

Mom, Dad, and baby Brett. It's hard to keep a little newborn cap on that Barnard head.

I love this picture...and those cheeks! SUCH sweet cheeks on this little man.

Spencer, Emma, and John had a full day bouncing from Grandma's to Grammy's and back to Grandma's for a sleepover. They got to stay up late since there was no school on Friday (teacher work day), and we were thrilled that they were still awake when we called to tell them they had a new baby brother. We facetimed (video conference) so that they could see Brett and we could see their reaction. Brett - your big brothers and sister were VERY excited to welcome you into the family. 

LOVE those sweet cheeks. Brett looks a lot like his big brothers. In fact, for the first while we had a hard time calling him by the right name.

Sleeping peacefully at the hospital.

The hospital where Brett was born treats new parents very well. They wheeled in this table and chairs to serve up a gourmet meal for Adam and me. My other favorite thing is the postpartum massage that one of the nurses gives the day after baby is born. Heavenly!

Adam fancified the room with this gorgeous bouquet of flowers. Love that man!

Because the flu had reached epidemic status in VA the week that Brett was born, the hospital restricted visitors. That meant our other kiddos couldn't come visit, but we were sure glad Grammy and Papa stopped by. My dad had just flown in from Azerbaijan, if I remember right. It was really fun to introduce them to their newest grandson. 

Some things worth remembering:
*At one point during Brett's first night, he was sad. He wasn't hungry and didn't need a diaper change...just sad. I started singing to him while I held him, and he quieted right down. This baby has heard a lot of music (mostly during violin lessons), and it seems to have a calming influence.
*Brett was an awesome eater right from the start. 
*Abena was our nurse at first, and she was the same nurse we had when John was born. Both times, babies were born just after the shift change and Abena went home. 
*We stayed in the hospital for just over 24 hours, thanks to a hefty daily copay and the doctor's flu-related warning to make haste and get home. 24 hours was PLENTY because there was a sweet little babe next door who was having a hard time nursing and cried most of the night. We were happy to get home and have a little peace and quiet...until the next morning when we had to trek down to the pediatrician's office for a weight and jaundice check. (The only downside to leaving the hospital early). 
*Brett is named for Adam's uncle, Brett Barnard - one of the finest men I've ever known. Uncle Brett passed away in June 2012, and we are pleased that his wife and daughters allowed us to use his name. We hope our Brett will be very much like his great uncle.